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Samaritans are back as Official Charity Partner this year, looking to run for charity? Read Samaritan Volunteer, David’s story about why he runs for Samaritans.

My name is David and I have been a runner for many years, initially to keep fit for playing hockey, but it has become much more important to me over time. I run for many reasons, but the primary one is my own well-being. I ran my first half-marathon in 1988 (Wimbledon) and my first marathon in 2000 (Stockholm). I think that was also when I first ran for charity and raised several thousand pounds, as I was working with many well-off (but also very generous) city bank workers. It is very rewarding to know that your effort is benefiting a worthy cause, though it never actually seems to make me run faster ☹

The Run Reigate Half-Marathon is one of my favourite races – I have completed it every year (except for the virtual one in 2020) and am very keen to keep that record going as long as possible – I am 58 so hoping for many more of them. It is my local race, and East Surrey Samaritans is the local branch of the charity that I volunteer for. I have been a listening volunteer for 6 years now and it is immensely rewarding being there on the phone for people who are going through a difficult time and need someone to talk to.

I have now raised money for East Surrey Samaritans on a number of occasions (most recently running the Virtual London Marathon during the pandemic). I was really chuffed to be joined then by quite a few people I know from Reigate Priory Parkrun. It was a grim rainy day and they got me through it. While I am here, a quick plug for Reigate Priory parkrun … whether you are a walker, a runner or want to volunteer you will get a wonderfully warm welcome. Look out for us in Priory Park, Reigate at 9am on Saturday mornings.

If you would like to help your local Samaritans by running, donating or volunteering then please get in touch here.